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Peabody Energy files for Chapter 11 bankruptcy protection

Peabody EnergyCorp. has filed for Chapter 11 bankruptcy protection just weeksafter warning itmight do so. The filings with the U.S. Bankruptcy Court for the Eastern Districtof Missouri include the majority of Peabody's U.S. entities though excludes itsAustralian operations.

Peabody has obtained $800 million in debtor-in-possessionfinancing via Citigroup which includes participation from a number of itssecured lenders and unsecured noteholders, according to an April 13 newsrelease. The financing comprises a $500 million term loan, a $200million bonding accommodation facility and a cash collateralized $100 millionletter of credit to help with the proceeding.

"This was a difficult decision, but it is the rightpath forward for Peabody. We begin today to build a highly successful globalleader for tomorrow," Peabody President and CEO Glenn Kellow said.

"Through today's action, we will seek an in-courtsolution to Peabody's substantial debt burden amid a historically challengedindustry backdrop. This process enables us to strengthen liquidity and reducedebt, build upon the significant operational achievements we've made in recentyears and lay the foundation for long-term stability and success in the future."

Trading in Peabody shares on the NYSE is expected to besuspended immediately.

Jones Day has been retained as Peabody's legal adviser whileLazard Fréres & Co. LLC will act as investment banker and financial adviserto the company. FTI Consulting Inc. is acting as Peabody's restructuringadviser.

Peabody plans to work with applicable state governments andfederal agencies to meet its reclamation obligations.

Meanwhile, Peabody's sale of assets in New Mexico and Colorado has also beenterminated after Bowie ResourcePartners LLC failed to complete the transaction.